Monday, January 18, 2010

Before and After

It's always gratifying to take a painting that was framed many years ago and bring it up to date. So often framing is used to force a piece into a decor. One of the upsides to framing practices is that we tend to be more neutral these days. It's so easy to look at something framed as recently as 10 years ago and identify when it was framed. Now, the best framing uses more classic frames and cleaner matting. We can always use subtle techniques like fillet's and spacers to create the custom look.

Here's the critique on why the "before" was wrong and why the "after" is right. 1) In the past, it was common to "pull out" a color from the painting and blast us with it. That is the major "wrong" in this painting. Now we use a neutral top mat with some subtle color or another neutral as an inner mat. 2) In the first framing, we are hit with too much mat and it tends to confine the painting. With the more neutral matting, although the same size as the before, the painting looks bigger and more open. The next 2 observations are more difficult to see in a photo. 3) When you use a single mat a painting can look very flat. With the double mat you get some dimension. 4) On the after, we used a spacer between the mats so it adds to the 3d feeling and it looks more custom. Finally, 5) the before frame is too small, period.